Logan Jackson never dreamed he would end up working in golf when he went to college.
Now the 23-year-old and 2015 Pillager high school graduate is in his second season being a golfing instructor at The Pines at Grand View Lodge.
Jackson is no stranger to the golf course. His uncle owned Fiddlesticks Golf Course in Mille Lacs County.
His earliest memories are spending time with his uncle at Fiddlesticks, working and playing the golf course. He remembers a time he and his cousin played 84 holes in a day.
“My parents would drop me off and we would just kind of bum around,” Jackson said. “It was great. He doesn’t have the golf course anymore, but that’s OK. We’d work on the golf course. Play all day. Go to bed and do it all the next day.”
At Pillager, Jackson went to the state tournament his senior year. He went on to play one year at Concordia College in Moorhead before deciding to give up his eligibility and go into the PGA program.
Jackson has worked at The Pines for seven summers with the last couple being full time. He went to school for management, but Jack Wawro, the director of golf at Grand View Lodge, really encouraged him to pursue being an instructor.
“I’ve worked at Grand View my whole career starting in outside service,” Jackson said. “When I went to college I said I would never work in the golf business because I was ready to do something different and golf had been my whole life. Jack encouraged me to be in the PGA and have been in ever since and it’s been a great decision.”
Jackson got into the PGA program when he was 19 and was the student-assistant golf coach at Concordia College in 2017 and 2018.
“That gave me a little extra push to continue to get involved as well,” Jackson said. “I was coaching and teaching golf and working (at Grand View) so that helped.”
Jackson tries to stay focused when he is giving a lesson. He doesn’t want his client to think his mind is anywhere, but on improving their golf swing.
“It’s about that relationship that you keep building whether it’s the first interaction or it’s a student you’ve had 25 times and they are coming back for a quick tuneup,” Jackson said. “Relationships are everything to me.”
Even though Jackson is a young instructor, he feels he belongs because the membership recognizes him as an instructor and as someone who can help them with their game. He’s also been around The Pines for seven years, so he is a familiar face.
“Even though I am young, I have been here a long time, it feels like anyway,” Jackson said.
Business has also helped. Jackson has been seeing his more and more clients as the summer progresses.
“That shows that I am doing the right things and I am where I should be,” Jackson said.
Jackson also runs the junior program at Grand View. He took that over from Adam Haugen, who is the PGA professional at The Preserve.
“Grand View as a whole has been my biggest encourager,” Jackson said. “They basically said that we needed an instructor, Logan wants to do it. So we will step aside so you can do it, but you have to do it well.”
With his clients Jackson takes an analytical approach with how he teaches golf. On the range, the first thing he looks at is someone’s setup.
“Everything I work on in my instruction is limited manipulation, and what we can do to make the golf swing better,” Jackson said. “The takeaway and setup are my two go to's.”
Around the green, Jackson is more of a method instructor. He has a style he likes his players to adapt to.
“I like if they get their weight forward and use their arms and their shoulders,” Jackson said. “You get a lot of handsy players and I see a lot of topping, sculling and chunking, so I try to get them more body oriented.”
When teaching, Jackson doesn’t like to put his clients in a box and force them to do a method they don’t want to do. He wants to alter the player.
Long term, Jackson hopes to do golf instructing full-time. The dream is having his own golf school down the road. Right now, he’s very happy to be in the position he is in at Grand View — whether at The Pines or at The Preserve.
“I’d like to stay at Grand View for as long as possible,” Jackson said. “If I am getting enough business that I can stay.”
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.